You often get told old wives tales or strange facts that are hard to believe: ‘Carrots make you see in the dark’, ‘Pull a grey hair and two more will grow in its place’, ‘Cows moo in regional accents’ and ‘Poppyseeds can make you fail drugs tests’. Well unfortunately for Jamie Silakowski, she found out the latter was very real indeed…
According to WROC, Silakowski had eaten a slice of lemon poppyseed bread from Tim Horton’s prior to giving birth to her son. But what appeared to be a harmless (and delicious) breakfast, turned out to be nightmare when she failed a drug test at the hospital.
Silakowski was in the labour ward at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo in New York, when her doctor told her that she’d failed her drug test. She told the doctor about the baked good eaten in the morning after seeing the joke referenced on Sienfeld and offered to take further urine tests but by that point it was too late.
The hospital had already called Child Protective Services (CPS), who opened an abuse investigation. From that point on, Silakowski endured home visits, drug testing, drug counselling and emotional upset for many weeks at a time that should have been filled with excitement and love for her newborn.
Of course, the hospital acting in the way they did is good in many ways as they keep patient and child health a priority. In many cases they have successfully aided parents’ drug addictions and stopped children being harmed. However as Silakowski had no previous drug convictions and, as it turns out, a valid explanation, she should probably have been given further tests to verify before putting her through the copious amounts of stress.
The reason behind this bizarre event is that poppy seeds originate from the opium poppy flower which produces morphine and other opiates. Therefore if a solid quantity of poppyseeds are eaten, it can occasionally produce a positive drug test. According to research, if you eat a poppy seeds within 12 to 24 hours of having a test done there is chance if could be positive. Due to this, many athletes are warned not to eat them prior to competitions when drug testing is in abundance.
So next time someone offers you a baked good with poppyseeds included, make sure their intentions are honest!